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As predicted, the new blog for CBS News, Public Eye, whose stated purpose was to "bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News," has instead turned into a spin machine, a way to counter what is going on in the blogosphere. After CBS's unpleasant ordeal with blogs last year (this month marks the one-year anniversary), CBS News president Andrew Heyward realized the news division had to get in on the act in order to in effect have it both ways, an MSM presence and a blog presence.


Following the resignation of Michael Brown as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Richard Stevenson writes in Tuesday's New York Times:


Katie Couric brought on presidential historian Michael Beschloss to ask if Katrina will damage Bush's legacy. At the top of the show at 7:00 am Couric teased the upcoming segment: "Will this storm hurt President Bush's ability to accomplish his second term agenda and what impact will it have on his legacy? We'll talk with a top historian about that."

At 7:12 am Couric sat down with Beschloss in studio and opened with the following questions: 



The Boston Globe reports that sociologists believe the bad news coming from the media about the behavior in New Orleans was overblown. They blame "credulous reporters" for creating a misleading situation.



The Washington Post has fun juxtaposing hurricane headlines and graphics today. The top left of the front page reads "45 Bodies Found In La. Hospital." The subhead is "Bush Visits New Orleans and Defends Federal Response; FEMA Chief Quits." I doubt the Post would have merged a Democratic president's actions with the somewhat unrelated discovery of bodies.



ABC News can't seem to figure out what percent of whites in their latest poll believe that the response to Katrina would have been faster “if the victims were wealthy and white,” with World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth Vargas (20 percent), an on-screen graphic (21 percent) and ABCNews.com (24 percent) all offering a different percentage. And while Vargas highlighted Monday night how “dissatisfaction...with the government's response to the hurricane is growing and hurting President Bush's overall approval rating. It now stands at just 42 percent, the lowest it's ever been,” in a WashingtonPost.com article posted at 5:30pm EDT, Richard Morin pointed out that “Bush isn't the biggest loser in the post-Katrina blame game.” Indeed, though 45 percent said Bush deserved a “great deal” or “good amount” of blame for “problems” in the response, 57 percent said the same about state and local officials.

Like Vargas, ABC News polling analyst Gary Langer skipped those numbers as he focused his online posting on how “on Katrina, opinion has moved further away from Bush and his administration.”

Transcript from ABC and excerpts from ABCNews.com and WashingtonPost.com follow.



"Entertainer" George Carlin was a panelist on HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher this past Friday September 9, 2005.

The panel was discussing the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Carlin said this (audiotape on file) (emphasis mine):

CARLIN: "It shouldn't be a surprise that rich white men don't care about poor black people. Period."

Gee. The last time I checked, Carlin had sold several successful comedy albums, toured the country many times, and had appeared in scores of television and movie projects. And he's white. Wouldn't that qualify him as a "rich ... white ... man"??

So, George, would your own remark apply also to yourself?



On to promote her book Talking Back, NBC's Andrea Mitchell offered a mea culpa on pre-war reporting and asked to recall her favorite interviews called Fidel Castro, "engaging" and Bill Clinton, "fun."

At 8:44 am Katie Couric began the interview asking Mitchell about her start in the business and how it has changed.

Couric: "Well you know obviously a lot has changed in the business since you started and you've been at NBC since 1978, right? Andrea how has, how has newsgathering changed? I guess the technology..."



Yesterday marked the complete withdrawal of Israeli military forces from the Gaza Strip, which has been returned to full Palestinian control in the hopes of moving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process along. As part of the handover of control, Israeli soldiers shuttered or destroyed the empty buildings once occupied by Jewish settlers. Among these, the synagogues were left standing, emptied of all their sacred artifacts and Torahs and the like, but tagged as holy places which should not be desecrated.



Coming out of the John Roberts opening statement at 3:30 on MSNBC, anchor Brian Williams asked Tim Russert that Roberts is "not a perjurer or a lawbreaker that we know of," but how can one greet his claim that he has no agenda? That's quite a dramatic way of suggesting Roberts may not be trustworthy.



PostWatch spotted an exchange during today's online session with Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz. Each week Kurtz answers questions emailed to him by readers.

Reports PostWatch:

Recap: Weak defense of selective victim photography....



Stephen Spruiell at NRO reports that among the new features on CBS's Public Eye blog are a defense of "Sunday Morning" commentator Nancy Giles.



Jim Hughes of the Denver Post covers the local activists on both sides of the Robert nomination this morning. Sort of.

Of 18 paragraphs, three discuss the pro-Roberts Judicial Confirmation Network, four equate the two sides, and seven discuss NARAL and other left-wing opponents of a sane judiciary. (Four paragraphs are neutral, not mentioning the activists directly.)

While the Post is silent on the conservatives' desiderata, the coverage of the lefties includes the following:



The Boston Globe claims some readers "get confused about the relationship between the editorial page and the rest of the newspaper, especially since the term 'editorial' is often used to describe everything in the Globe that is not advertising."



After seeing that it had no presence in the blog world, CBS News has finally launched its own blog.

They claim that the fundamental mission of "Public Eye" is "to bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News." This is commendable, but it is likely the blog will devolve into a way for CBS to finally respond to charges made against it in the blogosphere.

From the about page: